There are many reason why the clock may have been set wrong. They may have replaced the battery. They may have replaced fuses. They may have done work that required the battery to be disconnected. Whoever owned the car may not have known how to set the clock. Etc....
That tradition goes back to the beginning of clockmaking. By setting the hands of the clock to 10:10, the clockmaker makes the clock look symetrical (hour hand pointing up to the left and minute hand pointing up to the right) and offers the best view of the workmanship of the clock. Obviously, this only applies to analog clocks (the ones with hands), since a digital clock is not enhanced significantly by the time showing on the clock.
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